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    Archive for May 10th, 2013

    Last April 23 – 25, I attended the seventh Counter eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS VII) initiated by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). This year, the conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Security experts from Japan, Paraguay, Brazil, North America, Russia, and India flew to the South American city to discuss about the developments in the cybercrime arena. Together with 8 other participants from Japan, I arrived in Buenos Aires after a 38-hour flight. However, the talks and the level of energy in the conference definitely made the whole trip worth it.

    Overall, CeCOS featured 23 sessions divided into eight tracks, including two panel discussions. Aside from attending interesting talks, I also participated as a speaker at the event.

    I was very much interested in attending two talks: the National Field Reports and Mobile Attack Sessions. The National Field report particularly intrigued me, as it argues that the threat landscape of a particular country is a reflection of what’s happening globally.

    By now, it’s pretty much established that the mobile platform is the latest cybercrime battlefield, so I think it’s crucial to know what’s happening in the mobile threat front.

    As I mentioned earlier, I also participated as a speaker. As the representative of the anti-phishing council of Japan (CAPJ), I gave the talk Finding the Banking Trojan in Eastern Asia.

    Speaking at CeCOS VII

    Japanese-language phishing emails were first spotted in 2004 and since then, these mails have poured in and caused serious damage. As technology developed, these emails took more subtle forms, which made detection more difficult. In addition, instead of direct links to phishing sites or a malicious attachment, phishing sites instead contain links to compromised sites that eventually lead users to malicious sites that contain exploit kits.

    As we all know, attackers are already expanding their threats to other platforms, particularly mobile. Thus, I presented my analysis of ANDROIDOS_CHEST, which targets Android OS and was reportedly found affecting South Korea. Users would receive text messages offering free coupons for either movie tickets, fast food, or coffee if the user downloaded an app, which was actually ANDROIDOS_CHEST.

    The malware monitors and gathers text messages in order to defeat two-factor authentication done via text messaging. ANDROIDOS_CHEST then sends the gathered messages to the attacker.

    The most important question though is, how can users protect themselves from the threats of phishing? The CAPJ has these tips:

    1. Keep your computer safe.
    2. Beware of suspicious emails.
    3. Access and bookmark legitimate URLS.

    Another helpful advice is to always keep your systems updated with the latest security patches for your system. As Banking Trojans are usually delivered through exploit kits (by way of phishimg emails), users are protected from exploits that target old vulnerabilities.

    Trend Micro provides tools and technologies that help protect users against security breaches and data theft. Trend Micro DirectPass manages your passwords so that using and remembering unique passwords for multiple accounts is no longer difficult. Trend Micro Mobile Security protects against threats like ANDROIDOS_CHEST that are on mobile devices. The Smart Protection Network provides both email and web reputation, blocking these threats before they arrive on user systems.

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    Posted in Malware, Mobile, Spam | Comments Off on Finding Banking Trojans in Eastern Asia – Report From CeCOS VII

    Recent incidents highlight how frequently – and creatively – cybercriminals try to steal data. From “homemade browsers” to million-user data breaches, to the daily theft carried out every day by infostealers and phishing attacks, every day.

    All this stolen information ends up for sale in the underground to the highest bidder. From there, it can be used in many uniformly illegal ways – from identity theft, to credit card fraud, to launching attacks on other users. They can also be used to buy either expensive goods (which are then shipped to the cybercriminals), or pay for “bulletproof” web hosting that is frequently used for malicious sites. These may not cost that much individually, but the losses to users can be significant.

    It’s not just the fruits of cybercrime that are bought and sold in the underground – so are the tools, like exploit kits, vulnerabilities, and malware toolkits as well. Price tags here can reach the thousands of dollars, particularly for more advanced and sophisticated tools.

    There is so much money in the underground that it has become organized and systematic, much like real-world businesses. While the specifics of how the underground has organized itself varies from region to region, the mere fact that it has organized itself is noteworthy – both to allow for more information and tools to be sold, as well as reducing the risks of getting caught.

    Our new infographic – The Cybercriminal Underground: How Cybercriminals Are Getting Better At Stealing Your Money – explores what items are being sold and bought in the cybercrime underground, how the underground is organized, and how users are directly affected. It’s an excellent way to understand what users are up against in securing their information online. It may be viewed by clicking oh the thumbail below:

    To view all infographics from TrendLabs, visit

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